SMS Latinoamérica - Case Study

SMS Personnel Exchange Program as a Tool to Strengthen the Employer Brand

In this case study, SMS examines how its Personnel Exchange Program is helping its employees develop their skills and achieve their career goals.

The employer brand refers to the image that a company projects towards its current, potential, and former employees, as well as towards the general public, in terms of its organisational culture, values, work environment, job benefits, opportunities for growth and professional development. In general terms, all aspects related to the experience of working in that company.  

A strong and positive employer brand can help attract and retain talent, improve company reputation, and increase staff satisfaction and engagement. Strengthening this employer brand means improving the perception that work teams have of a company as an employer. 

After the pandemic, and with the return to in-person presence, at SMS we focused on strengthening our employer brand. We carried out different initiatives, some local rather than regional, but, without a doubt, the one that aroused the greatest interest throughout the international organisation was the launch of the “Personnel Exchange Program”.

What does the personnel exchange consist of?

“The Personnel Exchange Program consists of offering learning, training and professional development spaces to collaborators who are part of the SMS Latinoamérica Network,” explained Valeria de Lazzari Pitt, Talent Attraction and Selection Manager at SMS.

Valeria de Lazzari Pitt

Talent Attraction and Selection Manager at SMS

These exchanges can have different objectives; whether they are specific to training, or for a short or long term purpose.

During the exchange, employees work at a different firm within the network, where they can learn about a new organisational culture, gain new skills and experiences, and contribute their knowledge and perspectives to the host firm. At the end of the exchange, employees return to their home companies, where they can apply what they have learned during this experience.

“The internship was amazing”, commented Rocio Echavarri, SMS Jujuy (in the northern province of the Argentine Republic), who carried out her exchange program to the SMS Buenos Aires office during the months of January to March 2024.

Rocio Echavarri

SMS Jujuy (in the northern province of the Argentine Republic)

It was a great first contact with a corporate work environment that allowed me to align my career goals. Working in this environment has allowed me to apply the theoretical knowledge I acquired at university in a practical and meaningful way. Additionally, daily interaction with colleagues and professionals has given me a broader and deeper perspective on the career. I chose to stay in Buenos Aires and extend the practice for a while longer.

“By acquiring new knowledge outside the usual environment, you face different perspectives and challenges, which helps broaden your own vision and problem-solving capacity,” observed Emmanuel Alturria, Manager of SMS Villa Mercedes (a province in the center of the Argentine Republic) who also undertook his exchange program at the SMS Buenos Aires firm, due to it being one of the central nodes of the country where much of the activity is concentrated.

Emmanuel Alturria

Manager of SMS Villa Mercedes (a province in the center of the Argentine Republic)

When I returned to my city, I was able to directly apply what I had learned. Not only by being more competent in my job, but I can also inspire my colleagues and contribute to the development of my community.

“We launched this Program with the objective of reinforcing the motivation of intra-firm talents”, said Valeria de Lazzari Pitt. “We are aware of the difficulties that the labor market is going through due to the shortage of talent and the significant drop in enrollment in Economic Sciences, and this seemed to us to be an excellent opportunity to motivate staff and fill in positions with specific seasonal demands”, she added.

The Program was launched in 2019, the pandemic forced us to postpone until 2023 and, at the moment, four exchanges have become effective at a network level. “It is a significant number taking into account the short launch period,” said Valeria. “These programs involve a great effort from all those involved in addition to the associated costs, but we are convinced that the results will be reflected immediately. We are managing a new case between Mexico and Argentina for 2024,” she concluded.